Texas Discovery Rules

How do I know what Discovery may be involved in my case?

New discovery rules came into effect in Texas on January 1, 2021 and apply to cases filed on or after that date.

There are three different levels of discovery, each with different requirements.

The following apply to family law cases:

Level 1:

  • Divorce without children and with a marital estate more than $0 but less than $250,000
  • The discovery period beings when the initial disclosures are due and continues until 180 after the date the initial disclosures are due
  • Depositions are limited to 20 hours total per party
  • Interrogatories are limited to 15 per party
  • Request for Production are limited to 15 per party.
  • Trial must be set within 90 days after discovery period ends
  • Only two continuances are allowed, not more than 60 days total
  • Trial limited to 8 hours per side for jury selection, opening, evidence, and closing. It may be extended to 12 hours per side on showing of good cause
  • Unless agreed, mediation is required and is limited to half-day duration
  • Cost of mediation cannot exceed 2x cost of filing fees and must be completed 60 days prior to trial
  • Filing an amended pleading outside of Level 1 reopens the discovery period

Level 2:

  • Divorce with kids and an estate over $250,000
  • Any action not under a discovery control order or Level 1
  • Discovery period ends 30 days before trial
  • Depositions limited to 50 hours per party total
  • If there are more than 2 experts, an additional 6 hours total deposition time is permitted
  • Interrogatories are limited to 25 per party

Level 3:

  • The court must, on a party's motion, and may, on its own initiative, order that discovery be conducted in accordance with a discovery control plan tailored to the circumstances of the specific suit.
  • The parties may submit an agreed order to the court for its consideration.
  • The court should act on a party's motion or agreed order under this subdivision as promptly as reasonably possible.

For further information, please contact us.

Categories: Uncategorized